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Well, you just knew this was comming.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar reissued a moratorium on deepwater offshore drilling Monday, after the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the White House’s appeal of a lower court decision to halt the drilling ban.

The reinstated ban will “ protect communities, coasts, and wildlife as oil and gas companies implement adequate safety measures to reduce the risks associated with deepwater drilling operations and to ensure they are prepared for blowouts and oil spills,” wrote the Interior Department in a statement.

The ban won’t apply to shallow water drilling activities, which, the department said, “ do not present the same type or level of risks as deepwater drilling operations can continue to move forward if operators are in compliance with all safety and environmental requirements, including the safety and environmental requirements implemented through recent Notices to Lessees.”

The new ban will be in effect until November 30 or until such time as Salazar deems that drilling can move forward safely, the department said.

It is supported, said a departent statement by an “extensive record” indicating that the operations “would pose a threat of serious, irreparable, or immediate harm or damage to the marine, coastal, and human environment.”

The delay, it said, “would allow time for the implementation of new safety reforms aimed at preventing further drilling accidents.”

Administration allies (read syncophatic nitwits) hailed the reinstatement of the ban Monday and said that it would not harm the Gulf’s economy. “This moratorium will reduce oil spill risk while the Gulf will continue to produce oil,” said Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), who chairs the House Energy panel’s subcommittee on Energy and the Environment. “As new laws and safety measures are put into place on these few dozen rigs, 97 percent of the manned rigs in the Gulf will still be allowed to work,” he said.

Meanwhile, unnoticed by asshat Markey, one drilling rig has already left the Gulf headed for Egypt where there is no moratorium.

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The U.S. government announced Saturday afternoon that for the first time ever a fully operational submarine used by drug traffickers has been seized in the waters of South America.

This 100-foot-long operational submarine was discovered in a jungle tributary of Ecuador leading to the Pacific Ocean.

The craft, which could move multi-ton loads of cocaine, was seized in a jungle tributary of Ecuador leading to the Pacific Ocean by the Drug Enforcement Administration and Ecuadoran authorities.

The sub is diesel-powered, has a periscope and air conditioning and measures 100 feet long and 9 feet tall.

At least one person was arrested and an investigation continues, according to a news release from DEA.

Although traffickers have used so-called “narco subs,” low-slung boats that are fully covered and ride low in the water, this is the first full-on submarine ever found in their hands.

A Taiwanese-owned ship billed as the world’s largest skimming vessel was preparing to sail Friday evening to the scene of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

The owners of the “A Whale” – the length of 3 1/2 football fields and 10 stories high – said the ship features a new skimming approach that has never been attempted on such a large scale. They are anxious to put it to its first test in the Gulf.

The A Whale skimmer, 3 1/2 football fields long and 10 stories tall, was photographed in Norfolk, Va., on Friday. June 25 2010

“We really have to start showing people what we can do,” said Bob Grantham, project coordinator for TMT Group, a Taiwan-based shipping company.

The company said it also needs a waiver of the 1920 Jones Act, which limits the activities of foreign-flagged ships in coastal U.S. waters. The A Whale is Liberian-flagged vessel.

Ah… the Jones Act.

Much as been written about it but is it really a problem?

Apparently not.

It is what any large government operation does.

It becomes mired in indecision, bungling and flat-out stupidity!

Houston, Texas based oil company Helmerich and Payne owns and operates numerous oil rigs off the coast of Venezuela.

Venezuelan government refuses to pay them for $49 million for past services and said rigs have been out of production for months.

Enter Dear Leader Hugo Chavez.

With the dictators oil revenues falling, and a privately owned U.S. company trying to collect on its debt, there’s only one thing a dedicated communist can do – Nationalize the company.

Venezuela will nationalize a fleet of oil rigs belonging to U.S. company Helmerich and Payne, the latest takeover in a push to socialism as President Hugo Chavez struggles with lower oil output and a recession.

[…]

The 11 drilling rigs have been idled for months following a dispute over pending payments by the OPEC member’s state oil company PDVSA. Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said on Wednesday the rigs, the Oklahoma-based company’s entire Venezuelan fleet, were being nationalized to bring them back into production.

Of course Hugo has devised an excuse, a shitty one but an excuse none-the-less, for his actions.

Ramirez said companies that refused to put their rigs into production were part of a plan to weaken Chavez’s government,

“There is a group of drill owners that has refused to discuss tariffs and services with PDVSA and have preferred to keep this equipment stored for a year,” Ramirez told reporters in the oil producing state of Zulia. “That is the specific case with U.S. multinational Helmerich and Payne.”

The irony is Hugo is seizing assests of a private company to gain oil production, while Obama is taking millions of barrels of oil out of production by disregarding a judges order and doing so by executive fiat.

Art gallery owners in Poland are facing jail over a giant poster of a naked Minnie Mouse sprawled on a huge Nazi swastika.

The billboard – advertising an art exhibition – has infuriated locals as it is plastered next to a synagogue in Poznan.

“For me, it is quite shocking, and even more so for people who remember the World War II, and especially for people who suffered during it,” said local councillor Norbert Napieraj.

During World War II, the synagogue was closed and looted by Nazis before being flooded and turned into a swimming pool for German soldiers.

Now prosecutors are studying the poster to see if it promotes fascism, punishable by three years in jail in Poland.

But gallery manager Maria Czarnecka said: “This billboard is for a poster exhibition and in no way does it promote fascism or support the Nazi regime.”

Wasn’t it Pres. Obama who claimed to be in charge of the Gulf oil spill from “day one?”

As a reminder, that seems to be the case:

“From the beginning, the effort has been bedeviled by a lack of preparation, organization, urgency and clear lines of authority among federal, state and local officials, as well as BP. As a result, officials and experts say, the damage to the coastline and wildlife has been worse than it might have been if the response had been faster and orchestrated more effectively.”

Not to put too fine a point on it but, Obama also made the claim that BP was doing what the government told it to do as it pertains to clean up, containment, even “plug[ging] the damn hole”.

Nearly 60 days into this and one of Obama’s staunch allies, the New York Times, describes his leadership and effectiveness on the issue as an unmitigated disaster you know the few allowed into the “Oval “Office are pissing their panties about now

As Louisiana’s maritime industry continues to reel from President Barack Obama’s deepwater drilling moratorium, a leading oil production company has announced it’s looking to move some of its fleet to foreign waters.

Anadarko Petroleum Corp. announced that it is shutting down three exploratory drilling rigs in the deepwater Gulf, all off the Louisiana coast, and assured shareholders that it would move its operations “from the Gulf to other areas of our global portfolio” so it could meet annual production goals.

You can expect this will be the first of many layoffs in the oil industry and followed closely by those employed in the tourism industry.

Any bets on what the unemployment rate will be in 2 months?

With 300 plus thousand Census jobs being cut in addition to all those filing for unemployment due to the spill I’m betting the rate will edge closer to, if not over 10.0.